Born in North Carolina in 1983, Edward Snowden worked for the National Security Agency through subcontractor Booz Allen in the NSA's Oahu office. While working there, Snowden began noticing government programs involving the NSA spying on American citizens via phone calls and internet use. Before long, leaving his very comfortable life and $200,000 salary behind, in May 2013, Snowden began copying top-secret NSA documents while at work, building a record of practices that he found invasive and alarming. The documents contained enormous and pejorative information on the NSA's domestic surveillance practices, including spying on millions of American citizens under the name of programs such as PRISM. (Edward Snowden biography)
Snowden later forwarded these documents to journalists, ...view middle of the document...
Kucherena said that Snowden would seek temporary asylum in Russia and possibly apply for Russian citizenship later. Snowden thanked Russia for giving him asylum and said that "in the end the law is winning."(Edward Snowden biography)
Snowden defends himself on the basis of moral grounds and liberty stating, “I'm willing to sacrifice [my former life] because I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building.”(Edward Snowden biography)
However the US government takes a different stance to which I strongly agree. Snowden is rightly charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person. The last two charges fall under the Espionage Act (Edward Snowden biography).
Snowden’s actions constitute the highest form of treason. The rationale behind me being in support of all these charges is simple enough: Snowden broke the law like anyone else and he should be held accountable like all others. If Snowden is in a view that the espionage act does not include the “public interest” element of whistle blowing then he must certainly make such an argument in court. Apart from the fact that leaking secret state/ workplace information to an unauthorized person is a crime, Snowden also openly challenges the existing system of rules and judicial process and refuses to show up in the courts until the terms of the engagement are to his likings. He remains in asylum in Russia and there is no indication of him returning. Hence in my opinion If Snowden was brave enough to leak the documents on the basis of exposing egregious government misconduct. Then he must face the consequences and go through a public trail with an impartial jury.
“Edward Snowden biography” http://www.biography.com/people/edward-snowden-21262897?page=1.web.